insurance

Insurance for peer-to-peer travel rentals

Insurance if you rent out your home
Insurance if you rent out your home © Condor 36/Shutterstock.com

Whether you're renting out your entire home or just a room, it pays to read your policy and contact your home insurance carrier in advance, says Rino G Pietanza, an insurance broker with Summit Coverages in Brooklyn, N.Y.

"Watch out for special endorsements or warranties that specifically exclude (renting out your property)," he advises.

Some policies cover casual rentals and the occasional boarder, but other carriers may require you to add additional coverage, says Pietanza. If you frequently rent out your property, your carrier may force you to buy commercial coverage.

"There's no line in the sand when it becomes a business," he says. "A lot of policies let you do this for between two and six weeks, but it really runs the gamut."

Services that match homeowners with travelers tend not to offer any liability coverage for property damage or injury, Pietanza says, although they may provide protection against fraudulent bookings and other issues related to the rental agreement.

"Those clauses may sound like insurance and even have some language that looks like insurance, but it's not liability coverage," he says.

Two popular home-rental sites, Airbnb and VRBO, advise owners to arrange their own liability coverage.

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